Tuesday, September 01, 2009

International Coastal Cleanup Day

The Division of Environmental Quality sent out a press release last week:
Hundreds of volunteers throughout the CNMI are expected to clean their beaches next month as part of the world's largest volunteer cleanup effort.

The 24th annual International Coastal Cleanup is on Sept. 19, Saturday, from 8am to 12pm. Everyone is invited to participate. Saipan and Tinian are scheduled to participate on Sept. 19, and Rota's event is on Friday, Sept. 18.

On Saipan, a number of groups have already adopted beaches, including South Lao Lao and Cow Town, according to the Division of Environmental Quality. However, dozens of other beaches still need volunteers.

Several groups are working together to coordinate events on Saipan and Tinian, and the Coastal Resources Management Office is taking the lead on Rota.

The International Coastal Cleanup is the world’s largest volunteer effort to help protect the ocean, according to the Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to protecting ocean environments and marine life.

Last year, nearly 400,000 volunteers hit their local beaches, lakes, and rivers with a common mission of improving the health of the ocean and waterways. On one day, they removed and tallied 6.8 million pounds of debris, from 6,485 sites in 100 countries and 42 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The DEQ will retrieve and properly dispose of the trash collected from the cleanup on Saipan.

Cleanup supplies-garbage bags and gloves which were purchased with funds from a generous Bridge Capital donation-will be available at DEQ the week before the cleanup.

Interested participants are encouraged to sign up for the event so that organizers may arrange for proper pick up and disposal of garbage.

To request a signup sheet for Saipan or Tinian, contact Lisa Huynh Eller, Olivia Tebuteb or Carlos Ketebengang, DEQ, at 664-8500 or email - lisaeller@deq.gov.mp.

For information about Rota's event, contact William T. Pendergrass, ICC Coordinator, or MJ Taisacan, CRMO Administrative Clerk, at 532-0466 or fax 532-1000. (PR)
We are following the model we used for both Island Wide Cleanups. We ask coordinators to adopt a spot and to organize their own cleanup. We provide the supplies and DEQ will pick up all the trash, so all the coordinators have to do is recruit volunteers.

The Rotary Club of Saipan has adopted Tank Beach. Our cleanup will take place Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 8:00 AM. Residents of Kagman and students from the neighboring schools are invited to help us as it is a very large beach.

If you would like to adopt a spot, please email me and I'll send you a signup sheet. It will help us with trash hauling on the day of the event and helps us keep track of all our participants.

The last Island Wide Cleanup had over 4000 volunteers. I'm not expecting to surpass that, but if we get 1/4 the number I'll consider the event a huge success.

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